Overseas summer holidays? It’s a toss-up

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

It was a dispiriting weekend.

Dolphin Reef at Eilat in Israel. Couold beach holidays in Israel be a safe bet this summer?

Only a few weeks ago I was optimistic that we would have an overseas summer holiday later this year. Now in the light of comments by medics over the weekend, the introduction of restrictions in France, Germany, Italy and increasing cases in Turkey I am hesitant.

Dr Mike Tildesley, a member of the government’s modelling team, which advises Sage from which all governments rely on for assistance in decision-making, said there was a danger holidaymakers could bring back variants. His view – if not explicitly stated – was that holidaying abroad was too risky.

Hays, the travel agents, in the guise of Irene Hays was interviewed by the BBC news channel. She was less optimistic than I have heard for some time and seemed to be recommending cruising around the UK noting that twelve cruise companies had or were re-locating ships to the UK for this summer and autumn. As an alternative to staycations, seeing different British ports, the wider array of amenities on a ship and the fact that all passengers and crew would be vaccinated, cruising seemed a viable proposition.

She also said that about 31% of bookings were for holidays in 2021 and the rest were for 2022. If her customers are representative of all bookers then most of us are waiting another year to go abroad or waiting until the last minute to book.

The government still seems to be saying that it is too early to book and the May 17th date for allowing overseas travel would seem to be becoming more unlikely.

It is only about eight weeks away yet how many countries are going to have the same level of vaccination as the UK has achieved?  It has taken the UK about thirteen weeks to give about 50% of the adult population a single jab. To give both jabs will probably take the British through the summer.

Those destinations which have given a full course of jabs and which are about or over 30% of the population number just Israel, the Seychelles and Gibraltar.

Come May more countries will have joined the list but which? How many will contain a third wave by summer? How many countries will be able to bring cases down to levels seen in the UK, Iceland and Spain?

Even then this isn’t going to be the deciding factor when the British government determines where we can travel.

or Akra in Jerusalem as a heritage holiday possibility

It will be based on vaccination levels because there is less transmission amongst those that have been vaccination. And as we are frequently told, a small percentage of us can still catch the virus even after having been vaccinated.

Travel has been identified as one if not the major cause of the spread. International travel will be one of the last areas to re-open and my guess is that it will be done cautiously. Probably, there will be countries that we won’t be able to visit at all in 2021 like Brazil and South Africa and their neighbours or where those strains have taken a strong hold.

 There are also destinations who, in comparison have weathered the pandemic well like Australia and New Zealand where governments are being very cautious in who or who they do not allow in..

As the UK is home to one of the more virulent strains, some overseas countries will want to be sure we cannot pass it to their residents even after vaccination.

That is why I am not as optimistic as I was a month ago about travel overseas in the next three or four months.

After that?

Who knows!

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